Stephen Amell Talks to Dragon Con About ‘Arrow’ Season Four

arrow-season4
Image credit: Arrow season four trailer, The CW.

Dragon Con attendees were happy to welcome Stephen Amell, star of Arrow, along with other guests from the show this past weekend. The show is about to enter its fourth season with new directions for many of its characters.

Amell began by premiering the trailer for the upcoming season, and it was full of treats for the fans, including Neal McDonough’s proclamation, “I am Damien Darhk.” It concludes with a Felicity line that’s so good; I recommend you just watch it yourself:

Amell then went on to answer questions from the audience:

On changes for Oliver Queen in season four…

“For the upcoming season, there’s a more patient, understanding, and team-oriented ersion of Oliver. We get into similar situations with bad guys and dire situations, but the way I deal with the repurcussions is almost fundamentally different.

At a certain point around the beginning of season two, we lost the public persona of Oliver Queen—the guy Starling City knows as the former playboy. But now, we’re reintroducing him to the public in a way that fans of the comic are going to enjoy. And we’re getting ever closer to the point where we met Oliver in the pilot. That was a dark, damaged person, and we’re seeing him right now as far away from the two people as we have since the first season when he was a scared kid on the island and a mercenary in Starling City. Now we’re moving in the opposite direction, where he’s a more pleasant person in the present day and darker on the island.”

On working with Matt Ryan…

You saw Constantine in the preview. I’ll tell you—it was so fun to work with Matt Ryan. It’s something about British actors. It reminded me a lot of the time I got to chat with John Barrowman, because John was the lead in the call sheet on his show, as Matt was on his. So we got to pick each other’s brains on process.

Matt was preparing for Broadway in the next couple of weeks with Keira Knightley, so I wanted to pick his brain about that process, as I haven’t done it since high school. And I think he fits in very organically to our show, and we sketch him into the Arrow-verse forever in a certain way, which is cool.”

And John Barrowman…

“You just never know what John’s going to be doing. You might be doing a shot, and suddenly he’s operating the camera, and he wasn’t even supposed to be on set that day.

Everyone has marks on the ground. I’m green, David [Ramsey] is blue. Six people are moving around, and it’s a difficult job to lay the tape as the actors are moving through. Typically, that person is really conspicuous. One day as we’re doing a scene, I look down, and laying the final tape is Barrowman. Not even supposed to be on set that day. Laughs his maniacal laugh, and then he was gone. Didn’t even say bye. That’s the John Barrowman experience in a nutshell.”

On Felicity’s growth as a character…

“The bare bones of making a TV show is that you’re going to shoot a pilot. We shot that in March of 2012. That pilot gets put together and picked up by the network. You announce you’re going to do a series. They need to be explosive and almost their own stories so the pilot gets picked up in the first place.

Then when you get into TV production, we had completed episode nine before the pilot appeared. So how do you know what’s going to resonate with an audience? You don’t really know until they watch it. After Emily [Bett Rickards]’s appearance in the third episode, people liked her.

I knew she was going to be an integral part when they built her a set. When they build someone a set, they’re going to be around for a bit.

But as late as the midway point of season two, I was like, ‘Do you think Oliver and Felicity will ever get together?’, and I swear the showrunner said, ‘Never.’ So never say never.”

On the team’s new space…

“The new Arrowcave is really something. I was having a conversation with a producer yesterday—it makes it feel like a new show, because the original Arrowcave, even though it was eventually populated by so many people, was really representative of Oliver on a solo mission. It was like a bachelor in a one-room apartment, and everybody moves in. But now it’s a foundry, a base of operations, that’s built for five or six people. It’s got a garage! And a gym!”

On whether we’ll see Matt Nable again…

“We had talked about the possibility of exploring the backstory of Matt Nable’s Ra’s al Ghul, between him and Merlyn and him and Damien Darhk, so he might come back, but it would be doubtful that that would be via the Lazarus pit. It would be magic. Magic called ‘flashbacks.'”

On why he chose to start a wine label…

“My buddy Drew, who I run the winery with, and I, we went to Paso Robles, CA, by accident with my buddy Nick. We were just sitting in wine country on a Monday on a pontoon looking out at the sunset, and I turned to Drew and said, ‘Hey, how do we do this all the time?’

Guys have this conversation all the time. And it usually ends with a semi-intoxicated conversation of how this would be great! It turns out, Drew is an entrepreneur, so we were able to start a winery in Walla Walla. We have six wines and work with three wonderful winemakers. Both of the white wines are named after our daughters.

There’s the new label with Drew riding a shark and me riding a grizzly bear! This is an actual company that we have! We enjoy it.”

Arrow season four premieres October 7.